CuriosityStream Review Demystify the world with this high-quality streaming service

PROS

  • 1000’s titles
  • Spectacular unique originals
  • Affords apps for many main streaming platforms
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Entries are both in HD or 4K high quality
  • Out there worldwide

CONS

  • Restricted language choices within the US
  • Restricted closed captioning choices (primarily English)

Whereas some individuals flip to video streaming services for senseless leisure, others might need to discover these platforms that may educate and encourage them. CuriosityStream, a service from the founding father of Discovery Channel, provides documentaries on matters from area exploration to historic civilizations to the coronavirus and extra. The viewing expertise is stellar, with all titles out there in both HD or 4K, although the caption choices are restricted within the US. CuriosityStream lives as much as every little thing it guarantees: a large documentary choice, gorgeous high quality, and a gentle move of unique content material. It provides unmatched worth as a documentary streaming service, and for that, it deserves an Editors’ Selection award.

How A lot Does CuriositySteam Value?

CuriosityStream’s most cost-effective plan, which grants you entry to all the service’s HD documentaries, is simply $2.99 per thirty days. If you wish to watch every little thing in 4K, it’s worthwhile to improve to the 4K Month-to-month plan, which prices $9.99 per thirty days. Documentary lovers who know they’ll use CuriosityStream for the whole 12 months can get essentially the most worth out of HD Annual ($19.99 per 12 months) or 4K Annual ($69.99 per 12 months) plans.

The most cost-effective tier of Netflix prices $8.99 a month, however, you possibly can solely stream in SD high quality. Prime Video is of identical worth. Hulu is cheaper at $5.99 for its base plan (with advertisements). Apple TV+ and Disney+ value $4.99 per thirty days and $6.99 per thirty days respectively. The British-focused providers we have reviewed, Acorn TV and BritBox, are $5.99 and $6.99 per thirty days respectively. CuriosityStream’s base HD month-to-month plan beats all of them in value.

When matched up in opposition to documentary streaming providers, CuriosityStream comes out on high. MagellanTV prices $6.99 a month, and 4K streaming is included, however, the content material library is much smaller than CuriosityStream’s: 1,500 titles in comparison with greater than 3,000. Dox Channel is simply $2.99 a month, however, there isn’t any point out of video high quality. Kanopy is free with a taking part library or college login, but when you do not have a type of, you possibly can’t enter any titles. Matter prices $5.99 a month, and PBS Documentaries prices $3.99 a month.

Though Curiosity Stream is, in the beginning, a video streaming service, it additionally matches into the edutainment class, given its focus. Different edutainment providers are typically costlier. MasterClass, for instance, additionally provides informational content material at the next worth level ($180 per 12 months or $90 per course). Whereas Masterclass is extra instructive, Curiosity Stream is extra informative: You apply the knowledge acquired via a documentary in another way than the knowledge acquired from a collection of educational movies. The Great Courses Plus prices $20 a month, $45 for 3 months, or $150 for the entire 12 months. It is akin to Curiosity Stream and provides informational, documentary-style movies, a few of that are produced in collaboration with Nationwide Geographic and the Historical past Channel. I watched a few free video lectures from the Nice Programs Plus, and whereas they sparked my curiosity, I don’t suppose I’d pay practically 10 occasions extra every month than I’d with Curiosity Stream for entry.

CuriosityStream is nicely valued at its price ticket, contemplating the spectacular library it provides and the way extremely rated its documentaries are by viewers (every little thing I noticed had a score above 90 %). Relying on what you’re in search of, nonetheless, one other online learning service is likely to be a greater possibility.

CuriosityStream is out there on the internet, cell gadgets (Android and iOS), gaming platforms (Xbox One), streaming media devices (Apple TV, Chromecast, Fireplace TV, and Roku); and sensible TVs. CuriosityStream doesn’t have a devoted app on the Microsoft Retailer, one thing that Prime Video, Hulu, and Netflix do.

What Can I Watch On CuriosityStream?

CuriosityStream’s library options a formidable 3,000 titles, 900 of that are exclusives. Based on a consultant, the corporate plans to broaden its streaming library to 11,000 premium titles within 5 years, a formidable endeavor that would make sticking with the service worthwhile. At present, CuriosityStream provides documentaries in classes resembling the Historical past, Youngsters, Way of life, Nature, Science, Society, and Know-how.

Some notable documentaries within the CuriosityStream menu are Mild on Earth and Ant Mountain, each hosted by David Attenborough; Dream the Future, narrated by Sigourney Weaver; the BBC historical past collection Empire of the Tsars; the human origins collection Out of the Cradle; and the paleontology collection Wonderful Dino world.

Discover meals with the Historical past of Meals and Happiness Is on the Plate. Dive into the bodily side of who you’re with The Physique. For a sports activities collection on two Florida highschool soccer groups that battle for supremacy, look no additional than 4th and Eternally: Muck Metropolis.

An attention-grabbing matter that has captured public consideration for years is whether or not there’s an exoplanet that could support human life. The documentary Dwelling Universe takes you on an interstellar journey an try and discovers a planet that would help advance life, together with us.

For science, some attention-grabbing titles are: Redesign My Mind, a three-episode collection that exams the brand new science of mind plasticity; Magic Numbers, three episodes that journey via the evolution of math; Ice Age Giants, three episodes that take a look at the exceptional creatures of the Ice Age; What’s Actuality? With David Eagleman, a short look into how we understand actuality and easy methods to broaden that notion; and Exploring Quantum Historical past With Brian Greene, three episodes exploring theoretical physics.

Historical past buffs are certain to get pleasure from The Celts: Blood, Iron & Sacrifice, an intriguing title for a three-episode collection exploring the British islanders. Catching Historical past’s Criminals: The Forensics Story seems at 200 years of innovation in crime fixing. Tremendous Fish, the historic conflicts between us and our tasty underwater mates. Lastly, Queen Victoria’s Letters: A Monarch Unveiled, psychological exploration of the girl, in her personal phrases.

Know-how is our bread and butter right here at PCMag, so naturally, I’m excited in regards to the content material CuriosityStream has to supply in that space. I just like the look of Order and Dysfunction, which explores how people found the advanced guidelines of the universe and mastered vitality and knowledge.

Youngsters get a devoted class, too. The Starting and Finish of the Universe, which explores the universe’s origin and the place it’s going, will go far to boost childlike curiosity about our origins. Nature documentaries, together with The Secret Lives of Large Cats, may help youngsters perceive the challenges of dealing with pure habitats and their native species.

When it comes to unique content material, CuriosityStream provides 4th and Eternally: Alcoa, an acclaimed unique documentary collection produced in partnership with Jupiter Leisure. The eight-episode function focuses on the historical past and effect of a city nestled within the foothills of the Nice Smoky Mountains. It explores the impact of range in Alcoa’s highschool dynamic, together with its sports activities program, and the way the college pulled off a season that nearly wasn’t potential.

Over the summertime, CuriosityStream partnered with Doclights to convey 50 unique titles to its viewers around the globe. These are all pure historical past titles ranging between 30 and 60 minutes, together with Cheetah: Beating the Odds, These Birds Had been Made for Strolling, Monkey Mayhem, and my private favorite, Sloth Bear: Delivery of a Prince. I’ve by no means related sloths with princes earlier than.

One other unique providing is a three-part collection known as The Historical past of Dwelling, which takes you behind the historical past of every room in featured homes. Nick Offerman, who performed Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation, narrates the collection. Because it seems, he’s a grasp woodworker! The filmmakers went to 10 nations and filmed dozens of eye-catching properties.

The pandemic hasn’t affected CuriosityStream’s dedication to new content material. According to Clint Stinchcomb, president, and CEO of CuriosityStream: “We’ve premiered new and unique originals every single week because the starting of the shutdown and that can proceed for the remainder of this 12 months and positively into 2021.”

It’s tough to check CuriosityStream with different streaming providers as a result of it has a slim focus. Nevertheless, inside that focus, the service units itself aside with titles that enchantment to large viewers and a sturdy unique title catalog. Netflix provides documentaries too, more than 500 of them, together with Jiro Desires of Sushi and Forensic Information. Prime Video homes acclaimed BBC pure historical past collection Planet Earth.

For a good wider choice, our listing of best movie streaming providers consists of Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, and Tubi. Netflix options common unique content material, Hulu has an in-depth film library, Peacock highlights common NBC community exhibits, and Tubi is a free service with a big collection of ad-supported motion pictures. Cinephiles would love The Criterion Channel and Mubi.

However CuriosityStream is your finest guess in the event you’re in search of a high-quality, strong documentary to observe on a wet Sunday or actually any day of the week.

CuriosityStream’s Internet Interface

I examined CuriosityStream’s net interface on the Google Chrome browser operating on a Home windows 10 desktop. I signed in with an email or telephone and password, or with a TV or Web supplier. I opted to register with my email. CuriosityStream’s net interface is easy to navigate and I didn’t expertise any efficiency points in testing. It was easy and intuitive, and the navy blue/darkish yellow color scheme is nice.

The highest navigation bar consists of 4 menu choices: Browse, Collections, Search, and your account title. In the event you hover over your account title within the higher part of the interface, a drop-down menu provides entry to the Watchlist, Proceed Watching, and Historical past sections. Within the My Account part, you possibly can view Plan Particulars, Cost Data, Account Data, and Settings. Inside Settings, there are alternatives to solely present kid-friendly content material, present feedback, and alter notifications.

At the time of testing, the homepage featured a unique collection known as My Wild Yard that I might watch, add to my watchlist, or just scroll previous. Additional down on the web page, I noticed sections resembling Latest Additions and Exhibits for you. I’m an enormous fan of personalized content material, so I notably recognize that latter part. Previous these classes are sections devoted to different genres, together with Spooky Stuff, Historic Historical past & Dinos, and extra.

The Browse part’s drop-down menu enabled me to search out content material by class or period. I actually preferred the period possibility, particularly if I do know I solely have a sure period of time to observe one thing. Inside every essential class (Science, Historical past, Know-how, Nature, Society, Way of life, and Youngsters), subcategories make it simpler to search out much more specialized matters. Below Society, for instance, there was Entrepreneurship, Social Points, Politics, Crime & Forensics, Economics, Enterprise & Commerce, Democracy, and Present Occasions.

The Collections menu merchandise results in a web page filled with curated packages, together with Girls Rule, Coronavirus, and Hidden Gems. I felt like I used to be again in my Spotify account, looking via collections of movies as a substitute of playlists put collectively by the Spotify workforce.

Once you hover over a present or film’s thumbnail, you possibly can add it to your watchlist by way of a button within the top-right nook or view the episode relies upon and score within the bottom-left. On a present or film’s element web page, you possibly can see which firm produced it, if subtitles can be found, and the score once more.

CuriosityStream’s Cell Apps

I examined CuriosityStream’s cell app on the iPhone 11 operating iOS 14.0.1. After logging in (CuriosityStream offers you an identical login choice as on the internet), I have seen a well-recognized residence display screen. The featured content material, My Wild Yard, was the identical, as had been the opposite classes, resembling Latest Additions and Exhibits for you. Actually, the cell app is nearly a direct reflection of the net platform.

The menu gadgets that had been on the high of the website seem like icons on the backside of the iOS app. After I went into Settings, I noticed the choice to activate Youngsters mode beneath Account. After I pressed My Stuff, I noticed Watchlist, Proceed Watching, Historical past, and Saved.

The cell app has the episode rely or documentary period and the score out there proper on the display screen. On the internet, you would wish to hover over a thumbnail to search out identical data. Notably, I couldn’t enter conversations and remark beneath the title, as I might on the internet. Beneath an episode, the cell app exhibits different episodes within the collection. Beneath movies, resembling Armstrong, CuriosityStream lists suggestions for different movies.

Offline viewing is out there on the Android and iOS apps. It can save you as much as 10 hours of content material at a time. Amazon Prime, CBS All Access, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Starz, and Showtime all help offline viewing.

Playback Expertise

CuriosityStream’s playback interface on the internet defaults to the best out there decision. It has quantity and playback pace choices, in addition to 15-second rewind and fast-forwards choices by way of the arrow keys on a keyboard. On the bottom-right nook of the video participant, there may be a possibility so as to add closed captions (solely in English sadly) and alter the audio monitor possibility (English or Spanish). There’s additionally a panel with extra episodes and an abstract of the episode or movie beneath the video participant. The cell app playback display screen is analogous; the one distinction is that it has a Save button and the rewind and fast-forward buttons are accessible on-screen.

When it comes to person suggestion choices, subscribers can use thumbs-up and down buttons to fee content material and to and get extra personalized suggestions, in addition, to see what different customers preferred. Many of the content material I noticed had rankings within the excessive 90s (out of 100%) with suggestions from hundreds of customers. I like how there maybe even an area for viewers to depart feedback and have interaction with different members. Shudder, Mubi, Sundance Now, and Prime Video all permit customers so as to add their ideas on what they watch.

The episode I selected to observe was fascinating. It was about how our want for pace has inspired unbelievable nautical innovations that allowed us to cross oceans. There have been no lags in playback or stutters, and the audio synced up nicely. CuriosityStream recommends obtain speeds of 25Mbps or larger for uninterrupted 4K viewing, so my residence Wi-Fi community (100Mbps obtain) was greater than sufficient.

The audio adjusted seamlessly after I tried altering the possibility of the audio track from English to Spanish and again once more. The 4K video high quality was unbelievable, too. Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, and Netflix all provide 4K streaming.

I additionally examined Velocity and Armstrong on the cell app over my residence Wi-Fi community and located the playback expertise to be simply as satisfying.

CuriosityStream doesn’t specify what number of simultaneous streams it helps per account. In testing, nonetheless, I used to be in a position to enter CuriosityStream concurrently from my laptop computer and my telephone with no points. NBC, HBO Max, and Disney+ permit for 3 simultaneous streams, for reference, whereas BritBox helps 5.

Accessibility and Parental Controls

All the content material I watched included closed captions, which you’ll be able to customize. Nevertheless, not one of the content material helps Audio Descriptions. Apple TV+, Prime Video, and Netflix all embrace titles that help this function, and accessibility possibility that gives an audible narration of on-screen occasions that aren’t discernible via dialog alone.

As talked about, CuriosityStream has a kid-specific class crammed with kid-friendly titles. You possibly can instruct your kids to restrict themselves to the titles inside that channel. There’s additionally the choice to activate Youngsters mode, which you’ll be able to enter via the My Account web page. Nevertheless, this selection applies sweepingly to your whole account. Disney+, HBO Max, and Netflix help a number of viewing profiles with individualized content material restriction choices.

CuriosityStream and VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is a wonderful strategy to save your information on-line. Once you activate a VPN, it routes your whole website visitors via an encrypted tunnel between you and a distant server managed by the VPN firm, thus hiding your identification and your location. This may be troublesome for some video streaming providers which can block VPN site visitors altogether based mostly on geographic location to keep away from problems.

I attempted streaming content material on CuriosityStream after connecting my PC to each US- and Sweden-based Mullvad VPN server. I had no points streaming over both connections.

Even when your VPN and video streaming service presently work collectively without points, that’s no assure that they’ll proceed to take action. Video streaming providers proceed to search out new methods to detect and block VPN site visitors.

Low Value, Excessive Worth

I’m not shocked that CuriosityStream has greater than 13 million paying subscribers in additional than 175 nations; it provides nice worth. There’s no higher place to go for high-quality documentaries that cowl hundreds of matters, with new titles, added repeatedly. World vacationers can even get pleasure from that it’s out there globally with no restrictions. Caption language choices are restricted within the US to primarily English, though audio for some content material is out there in English and Spanish.

Our Editor’s Selection for on-demand video streaming providers is Netflix; its assortment of common unique titles is unmatched. For streaming stay TV, which isn’t featured on CuriosityStream, go along with Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV. CuriosityStream additionally deserves Editor’s Selection recognition for the hundreds of hours of viewing it provides its curious, nonfiction-minded viewers. The low worth, excessive specs, and good-size library make this streaming service value it.

You Can Try CuriosityStream For 7 Days Here

Techifypro is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store